Thursday, October 11, 2012

Harvest Ride and alpacas!

Instead of yet another triathlon, I convinced my spouse that it would be a much better idea to do a bicycle event. Notice that I didn't say race, I said 'event'. We had long heard that the drive along I-84 in Oregon was worth a look, so we headed south.

The Hood River Harvest Ride: 'a family-friendly bike ride through the less-traveled majestic back-roads of the Hood River Valley'. If kids can do it, it can't be that bad right? Five loops to mix and match from, produce stands and rest stations along the way? Sold.

Mt. Hood appeared on the horizon behind the orchards. (Mt. Adams was visible in the opposite direction). Mountains are so cool. I hope I never get tired of looking at them. I'm a little tired of looking at sagebrush, but that may be to expected.

After the ride, we were treated to homemade lunch (some hippie provided a huge tub of lentil salad...must have been from Portland) and fresh produce from the surrounding orchards. We left with bags full of apples and pears, all courtesy of local farms provided free for the riders. As we were nearing the end of one of our loops, it occurred to me that I should have searched to see if there were any yarn shops in the area. It's not a big town though, so I didn't really figure there would be much. Not but five minutes later, we saw a blue informational highway sign (keep in mind that we're on a country backroad in BFE) letting us know that CASCADE ALPACAS OF OREGON FOOTHILLS YARN 1.0 MI <----. One of those official state blue highway signs, and it and a couple others appeared along our designated biking route until the last quarter mile or so.

We had to go, natch. At the end of a twisting back road and up a hill, some alpacas and their adorable cria were hanging out. Surprisingly there were a number of cars in the parking lot, and people milling around looking at the alpacas. I guess the blue signs work? I suppose they worked on us...

Sammy was waiting in the car and couldn't contain himself with all of the awesome smelling fuzzy creatures milling around outside. He started barking his head off, and all of the alpacas came out to see what the fuss was about:

What's that guy's problem?

Right on the farm was a full service yarn shop. They had all kind of selection, but for the most part it was stuff that you could get anywhere. I wanted something hot off the alpaca!

You know how they say it's important to go local. I had a bit of sticker shock on the first skein I picked I went in for something small. Only one ounce, so I'll have to think of something special and small to make (any thoughts?). A touch I enjoyed: each skein has the names of the alpacas that it came from. Mine is from Phoebe, Onya, Sparkle, and Dutch....I think Sparkle gave it that extra pizzazz, you know?


  1. Amazing find :-) How much was the sticker that gave you the shock ? :-)

  2. Lovely! Hm, something small...perhaps a hat? Or a cowl? Or fingerless gloves?

  3. That's so cool! I guess I should keep an eye on those road signs on trips, then.

  4. I don't think it's possible to get tired of seeing mountains. When you love them, you love them always. :-)

    And I must say this is a perfect example of ask, and you shall receive. Nice skein of yarn. :-)

  5. How fortuitous! Beautiful photos of the area, as well.

  6. Haha. Hot off the Alpaca. Your wording always has me giggling.

  7. The ride sounded like a lot of fun. Beautiful scenery. I grew up in a mountainous area and really miss it. So cool about the alpaca farm and shop. Maybe you can knit a cute little toy with the yarn.